The Daily Star

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Thursday, January 19, 2017
Monday, July 7, 2008

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Though nursing is considered the integral part of the health care system and given top priority by the authorities in the developed countries, it nonetheless gets a second-class treatment in Bangladesh. The prevailing ills in this sector have come under discussion many a time but nothing tangible has been done so far to improve the situation. Among the nagging problems that need to be addressed immediately by the relevant authorities are: lack of adequate number of nurses, poor quality training, lack of motivation, improper attitude and low salary. With these discouraging factors abounding, one can hardly expect anything better than ordinary ward boys and girls doing the work of a trained nurse, such as, changing bandages off the chest of a burn patient.

From a front page report in this daily on the subject on Sunday we learn that an inadequate number of nurses is the foremost cause why quality services cannot be offered to the patients. And it is baffling indeed that though 1200 nurses graduate from government nursing institutes every year, no recruitment of nurses in public hospitals has been done since 2003. It is a well known fact that majority of the people in Bangladesh go to public hospitals seeking health care but often nurses are not found when a patient has to be given saline or some emergency medicine. In one ward of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, the doctors struggle to give medical service to over 234 patients with only with 31 nurses when they need many more. Therefore, it remains a mystery why new nurses are not being recruited to ensure timely and quality service to the patients.

The poor standard of training as imparted in the nursing institutes is another factor that needs to be looked into by the relevant authorities. In the modern world where medical science is progressing at a fast pace, knowledge of handling electronic machines and equipment is a vital requirement of a nurse. We are all aware that in the developed countries, trained nurses efficiently take care of the patients once the doctors have diagnosed the illness and prescribed medicines. Therefore, to upgrade the country's health care system our nurses must receive training so that they can handle machines and equipment with ease and accuracy and give quality service to the patients.

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